Building Dedication for UCR Center for Advanced Neuroimaging Takes Place on Jan. 30

New center allows for cutting-edge research; MRI first of its kind in Inland Empire

Delivery of the “3 Tesla Siemens Prisma” Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine on Oct. 22, 2016. Photo by Michael Elderman

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – The University of California, Riverside will host a building dedication for the new UCR Center for Advanced Neuroimaging (UCR CAN), which is located south of the UCR Psychology Building, on Monday, Jan. 30.

“We are ecstatic that the facility is finally ready for our scholarly inquiries and look forward to many exciting results coming out,” said Xiaoping Hu, professor of bioengineering and the director of UCR CAN.

The process has been years in the making. In 2011, five UCR psychology faculty members came together and discussed the importance of housing a neuroimaging center on the UCR campus, for interdisciplinary research. In 2014, funding was identified, and the center started to take shape.

UCR CAN’s purpose is to allow faculty members to participate in state-of-the-art research, answering diverse questions related to bioengineering, psychology and neuroscience, education and medicine, statistics, and physics, as well as other areas.

“We viewed it as a great investment for the university,” said Aaron Seitz, psychology professor at UCR. “It elevates the scale of research capabilities at UCR – it pulls the entire campus together – it allows for training opportunities, recruiting opportunities, and grant opportunities we simply didn’t have before.”

UCR CAN houses a “3 Tesla Siemens Prisma” Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine – a high-end, research-grade system, the first of its kind in the Inland Empire. The scanner takes images of the brain, looking into how the brain works, how the brain is wired, how we see, why we can smell, and how the brain functions differently when an individual is dealing with a mental illness.

Psychology professors Christine Chiarello and Aaron Seitz, and Mike Pazzani, vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development, peer through the patient tunnel of the MRI machine. Photo by Michael Elderman

“It will open a whole new avenue for scholarly inquiry at UCR, putting the university among the top players in neuroimaging and allowing for basic and applied neuroscientists to probe the brain with greater details, sensitivity, and versatility,” Hu said. “As a campus-wide resource, it will significantly make way for interdisciplinary collaborations particularly among UCR’s College of Engineering, College of Natural and Agricultural Science, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science, and the School of Medicine.”

The structure of the building was delivered in September 2016. In October, the 13-ton MRI machine was lowered into UCR CAN by a crane. The center will have its grand opening and building dedication on Jan. 30 from 9:45-11:30 a.m.

The Jan. 30 schedule is as follows:

  • 9:45 a.m. – Tours of the UCR Center for Advanced Neuroimaging.
  • 10:15 a.m. – Dedication Ceremony at UCR CAN.
  • 11 a.m. – Lecture by Roderic Pettigrew, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the UCR Genomics Auditorium 1102A.

Complimentary parking will be made available in Lot 6, which is located closest to the center. If you are interested in attending the event, please RSVP by Friday, Jan. 27, by emailing  or calling (951) 827-3144.

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